Many people think that having hermit crabs as pets will be a lot of fun. It certainly can be interesting to keep a hermit crab as a pet and to watch it do its thing.
Caring for a hermit crab does take a lot of effort, though. If you’ve been caring for a hermit crab for a while, then you might think that giving it a friend to live with would be a good idea.
It’s smart to pause and think a bit before you decide to buy another hermit crab, though. Some creatures don’t get along with others of their species, and that means that this might not be a good idea.
Can hermit crabs live together or should hermit crabs be kept alone as pets? Keep reading to dig into the details so that you can know whether it’s safe to give your hermit crab a companion or not.
Hermit Crabs Are Actually Happier in Pairs
Hermit crabs will actually be significantly happier if they’re being kept in pairs. When hermit crabs are in the wild, they’re going to be living alongside many other hermit crabs.
There will typically be dozens of other hermit crabs around, but sometimes there might even be more than a hundred. You don’t need to buy dozens of other hermit crabs to live with your pet, but you could at least get another one so that your hermit crab has a companion.
Many people simply choose to buy hermit crabs in pairs so that they won’t be alone. You shouldn’t have to worry too much about any issues happening with the hermit crabs either.
However, there are some problems that can pop up due to differences between the hermit crabs. You’ll want to consider these before you decide which hermit crabs to buy.
Try to Buy Hermit Crabs That Are Similar in Size
Trying to buy hermit crabs that are similar in size will be better than having one crab be much larger than the other. You see, if one hermit crab is a lot bigger than the other one, then you might have more issues with fighting.
The larger hermit crab might try to bully the other hermit crab and this can be a big problem. Luckily, it isn’t going to be hard to find a hermit crab that is around the same size as yours.
If you already have a hermit crab, then just try to pick out a companion that is around the same size as the one that you own. When you don’t have any hermit crabs at all yet, it’ll be easy to just buy two crabs that are approximately the same size.
The hermit crabs should be very respectful of each other when they’re about the same size. It’s definitely worth taking the time to pick out appropriately-sized hermit crabs.
Hermit Crab Gender Shouldn’t Matter
The gender of the hermit crabs shouldn’t matter all that much. You might be worried that raising two male hermit crabs together would lead to more fighting, but this generally isn’t the case.
Hermit crab enthusiasts have noted that males aren’t typically any more aggressive than females. You should be able to have a good time raising a pair of hermit crabs in any combination of genders.
Raising two females together will be absolutely fine. Two males will also get along with each other, and you could opt for an opposite-sex pair if you’d like.
You’ll find that hermit crabs are fairly social creatures that can get along well. This won’t be the case 100% of the time, but generally, hermit crabs have no issues getting along when they’re the same size.
Ensure That Each Hermit Crab Has Lots of Space
To get the best results, it’s going to be wise to keep your hermit crabs in a habitat that has plenty of space. If your hermit crabs feel crowded, then they’re going to be more likely to fight.
This happens when people try to keep two or more hermit crabs in very tiny enclosures. Hermit crabs need to feel safe and this means that they need spots where they can be alone.
A good hermit crab habitat should have lots of hiding spots as well as enough room for the hermit crabs to spread out. So long as the habitat that you’re using can provide this for the hermit crabs, it’s going to be possible to get good results.
If you’re having issues, then you might just need a bigger hermit crab habitat. It can be a bit stressful for a hermit crab to be moved into a new habitat, but it might be necessary if the current one is just too small.
You should also try to be realistic about how many hermit crabs you’re adding to the habitat. If you add four hermit crabs to a habitat, then they all need enough room to be able to feel comfortable.
It would be best to have a pretty big aquarium if you’re going to care for multiple hermit crabs. Even when you’re just caring for a pair of hermit crabs, it’s going to be best to have a decently large habitat where each hermit crab will be able to have its own space.
Meet the Needs of the Crabs Properly
Of course, you’re going to need to do a good job of handling the basics to keep the crabs happy as well. Hermit crabs will be more likely to fight with each other if resources are scarce.
This means that the hermit crabs must be getting enough food and they need proper access to water. You should already know that hermit crabs need both freshwater and saltwater to thrive, but you also need enough of it to go around when you’re caring for multiple hermit crabs in the same habitat.
It might be necessary to buy larger water dishes so that multiple crabs can submerge themselves. You might also need to buy more sea sponges so that the crabs will always be able to have an easy time getting in and out of the water.
Taking the time to ensure that all of the hermit crabs have what they need should help. You should be able to see the hermit crabs getting along and you’ll see that it’s beneficial for your hermit crab to have a friend.
It’s also worth mentioning that you might need to make sure that you have sturdy things for the hermit crabs to climb in the habitat. You’ll need to consider the idea that two or more hermit crabs might try to climb an object at once.
Some Hermit Crabs Have Combative Personalities
What if you’re doing everything right and one hermit crab seems to be mean to the others? Is there a way to turn things around?
Well, this might just be the hermit crabs personality coming out. So long as the other hermit crabs have adequate hiding spots, it’s likely not going to be a big issue.
If you notice the mean hermit crab bullying the others too often, then you could choose to separate it from the other crabs. Sometimes the problem hermit crab will learn to be nicer after being separated from the others for a period of time.
You could also choose to raise the crab in isolation if it just seems to be too mean to other hermit crabs. Most hermit crabs get along really well with others as long as there isn’t a reason to fight, but there could be exceptions to that rule.
If you’re thinking about getting another hermit crab so that your current hermit crab will have some company, then that could be a very good idea. Hermit crabs can certainly live together, but you’ll need to approach things the right way to get the best results.
Before you buy another hermit crab, it’s going to be important to think about how large both hermit crabs are. You want the two hermit crabs to be similar in size so that the larger one won’t bully the other crab.
So long as you pick out a hermit crab that is close in size to the one that you already own, it’s going to be pretty easy to get good results. It doesn’t even necessarily matter what gender the hermit crabs are.
Male hermit crabs aren’t generally any more aggressive than female hermit crabs. Knowing this, it’s fine to raise hermit crabs in whatever gender combinations you wish to pursue.
It will be necessary to provide everything that the hermit crabs need to keep them from fighting. If a habitat doesn’t have enough space for each hermit crab, then there could be territorial squabbles that will occur.
Ensure that each hermit crab has enough space to itself. You’ll also want there to be many hiding spots in the habitat so that the crabs can get away from each other when they wish to be alone.
Give the hermit crabs enough food and make sure that the water dishes are big enough to accommodate multiple crabs. You’ll also need more sea sponges to ensure that it’s easy for the crabs to get out of the water dishes without drowning.
Keeping all of this in mind should allow you to have a good time raising multiple hermit crabs in the same habitat. Hermit crabs live among dozens of other hermit crabs in the wild, and it’s fine for them to live together when being kept as pets, too.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.